Work theory

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Industrial studies is a subject that was introduced in the old federal states from the 1970s. For the field of study associated with this subject there are naming variants in the various federal states, such as For example: work-economy-technology  ( AWT ) and economy-work-technology  ( WAT ), which are becoming more and more popular, making work theory a historical term in some federal states. Comparable learning content was taught in the GDR from 1958 as part of polytechnic lessons (often also: polytechnics for short ) with the subjects: Introduction to socialist production (ESP), technical drawing (TZ) and instruction in technical production (PA).


From 1900 to the 1930s Georg Kerschensteiner pursued the establishment of work classes and work schools. It was and is still about the question of the extent to which the subjects of work and occupation must be the subject of general education . Further impulses for dealing with this question arose among other things. a. through modernization pushes that z. B. the use of computer-aided systems followed and which have an impact on production , operational and economic processes to this day, which is permanently changing the qualification and activity characteristics of many professions.

For the Federal Republic of Germany in 1964 the German Committee for Education published a concept with a systematic justification for the subject of work studies. The committee's momentous recommendation was incorporated into a statement by the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on the Hauptschule in 1969 , which became the guideline for the development of work studies in most of the federal states. With the subject of work theory contained in its recommendation, the committee wanted to shape the character of an upper elementary school to be reformed, since cognitive training and manual activity were to be merged in this subject .

As early as 1958, attempts were made in the GDR to anticipate elements of basic vocational training by introducing polytechnical instruction . A new conception of work lessons in 1966 was intended to counteract a restriction to vocational preparation . The manual-technical activity was shown as a specific part of a comprehensive socialist general education. The polytechnic lessons, divided into the sub-areas of introduction to socialist production, productive work and technical drawing, could not survive the reorganization of schools and the economy after reunification . The influence of polytechnical teaching in the GDR on the further development of work theory in today's Federal Republic should be scientifically investigated.


In general, work apprenticeship begins in the seventh grade with topics from the pupils' closer life. In the handicraft sector, this would initially be the manufacture of products for one's own needs, in order to ultimately deal with products for the anonymous market. As communication skills, elements of basic information technology training for the proper use of computers and its standard software are increasingly being added to work instruction. The second half of secondary level I also includes the topic of career orientation and an internship in a manufacturing company.

The combination of technology , economy and housekeeping , taking socio-political and social aspects into account , is mentioned today as a characteristic of West German work theory. Such a learning area has been introduced in all federal states except Schleswig-Holstein , whereby the organizational forms and the teaching target differ between the states. As a compulsory subject , it is usually taught at secondary schools and, in some federal states, at comprehensive schools, although the number of hours can be increased by an additional compulsory elective subject work studies. At secondary schools , work studies have found their way into an elective. In the compulsory elective form, it is often chosen by students at comprehensive schools and secondary schools as an alternative to the second foreign language. However, since a second foreign language is a prerequisite for completing the upper level of the Gymnasium, the decision on the compulsory elective subject is usually associated with a performance and social selection.

The extent to which the contents of the work theory are part of a general basic education that should be taught at all types of schools remains controversial. Work theory is in conflict with a high school tradition based on neo-humanism , which emphasizes a separation of education and training. Because of this front position of the subject, previous attempts at the broad introduction of work theory at grammar school failed.

Middle school

At the Bavarian middle school this subject is called work / economics / technology ( AWT for short ) and is only taught there. In the case of the qualifying secondary school leaving certificate, the annual graduation grade is offset against the practical grade of the respective career-oriented branch (social / business / technology). AWT is not relevant to the examination for the completion of the intermediate educational qualification at Bavarian secondary schools.


  • J. Baumert et al. a. (Education report working group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development ): The educational system in the Federal Republic of Germany. Structures and developments at a glance . Reinbek, 1994. pp. 225-231.
  • Dietmar Kahsnitz, Günter Ropohl, Alfons Schmid (eds.): Handbook for work teaching . Munich / Vienna: Oldenbourg 1997.
  • Günter Ropohl : Work and technology: Philosophical contributions to technological education . Berlin: Edition Sigma 2004.
  • Jörg Schudy (Ed.): Arbeitslehre 2001. Balance sheets - Initiatives - Perspektiven , Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Hohengehren February 2001
  • Society for work, technology and business in teaching eV, issue 2/2000
  • Thomas Frauenknecht u. a .: Paths to the profession work-economy-technology, edition 2007, Bildungsverlag Eins and Wolf Verlag

See also

Web links


  1. ^ Society for Work, Technology and Economics in Education eV (GATWU). Office: c / o TU Berlin - Institute for Industrial Studies (PDF; 1.9 MB)